Princeton looks to keep the momentum going from their first-round upset of Arizona when they take on Missouri with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line.
#7 Missouri Tigers (25-9) vs #15 Princeton Tigers (22-8)
How to Watch:
- DATE: Saturday, March 18th
- TIME: 6:10 p.m. ET
- CHANNEL: TNT
- MONEYLINE: MIZZ (-285) PRI (+228)
- SPREAD: MIZZ -6.5
- TOTAL: 149
Tale of the Tape:
|65.3 (370th)||Points Per Game||77.6 (55th)|
|67.7 (108th)||Points Allowed Per Game||75.7 (325th)|
|94th||KenPom Adjusted Tempo||179th|
|8th||KenPom Off Ranking||108th|
|163rd||KenPom DEF Ranking||
|54th||KenPom Strength of Schedule||
- Kobe Brown, G: 15.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 45.8% 3PT
- D’Moi Hodge G: 15.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.6 SPG, 40.5% 3PT
- Tosan Evbuomwan, F – 15.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 4.8 APG, 52.4%% FG
- Ryan Langborg Jr. F – 12.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 32.2% 3PT
The 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers pulled off the biggest upset of Thursday’s first-round games when they defeated the 2nd-seeded Arizona Wildcats 59-55 despite coming into the game as 16-point underdogs. Their win marked the third year in a row that a 15-seed has eliminated a 2-seed.
The Tigers got their win on the defensive end. They erased a ten-point second-half deficit and held Arizona scoreless for the final 4:45 of the game. For the game, they held Arizona to 42.1% from the field and just 18.8% from beyond the arc.
Which was good because their offense wasn’t particularly efficient.
Princeton hit just 40.6% of its own field goals and shot just 4-for-25 from deep, so it was certainly not an offensive masterclass. Yet, they committed only 11 turnovers and played strong defense, which was enough to put pressure on Arizona and force the higher seed into mistakes.
On offense, Princeton was led by senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan, who had 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
On the other hand, the 7th-seeded Missouri Tigers put on a much more impressive offensive show as they beat 10th-seeded Utah State Aggies 76-65 despite being 1.5-point underdogs in the first round of the 2023 NCAA tournament.
Missouri shot the ball exceptionally well on Thursday, hitting 50.9% of their shots from deep. They were led by tremendous efforts from senior guard D’Moi Hodge, who had 23 points, four rebounds, and four steals, and senior forward Kobe Brown, who added 19 points and eight rebounds.
However, Missouri’s great shooting overshadowed a pretty stagnant offense where they had just 12 assists to 15 turnovers. If they’re not able to move the ball and set up good looks for one another against this Princeton defense, things could be a little tougher. This is not a team that shoots that well on a consistent basis.
Another huge advantage for Princeton will be on the glass. According to Bart Torvik’s metrics, Princeton is 8th in the country in defensive rebound percentage at 77.3%, while Missouri ranks 362nd in the nation in defensive rebound percentage at 63.0%. Princeton also has a much better defense, ranking 56th in opposing 2-point percentage (47.3%) and 95th in opposing 3-point percentage (32.7%), while Missouri ranks 284th in opposing 2-point percentage (52.3%), and 236th in opposing 3-point percentage (34.9%).
Missouri has the ability to be one of the best offensive teams in the country, but they are inconsistent shooters and can struggle with defensive fundamentals. If they’re not focused, Princeton could catch them on their heels like they did Arizona.